Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım joined his British counterpart Theresa May, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres, representatives of the United States, European Union and African countries for a London conference in Somalia yesterday. The meeting seeks to coordinate and improve efforts for the African nation, which is grappling with poverty, drought, terrorism and corruption according to Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. The conference, focused on national security, political infrastructure, economic recovery and combating drought is being co-chaired by Mohamed, Guterres and May.
Turkey was at the forefront of an endeavor to deliver humanitarian aid to the country six years ago and since then has helped rebuild the country devastated by a past civil war, ongoing terror threats and chronic poverty. Under Mohamed, who was elected to office just this year, Somalia seeks to strike a new deal with international donors for security reforms as well as development aid. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said at the meeting that Turkey would continue providing “strong support” to Somalia and will take part in international efforts for the country. He said Somalia needed a regular military in its fight against terrorism, reminding that a military training center built by Turkey will be operative in Mogadishu in September. Yıldırım said Somalia suffered from “an image problem” and the international community should work to prevent “Somalia from being remembered with negative headlines.” He also called upon a review of the U.N. arms embargo and a deal on gradual drawdown of an international military contingent deployed in the country. The prime minister said aid alone would not help Somalia and sustainable economic development, national security and stability were key factors for the country’s future. He also said they were confident that the new Mogadishu administration would use the resources allocated to them efficiently.